XML Carnage

January 31, 2011

We noted “Learning from our Mistakes: The Failure of OpenID, AtomPub, and XML on the Web.” What caught our attention was this steemtn:

So next time you’re evaluating a technology that is being much hyped by the web development blogosphere, take a look to see whether the fundamental assumptions that led to the creation of the technology actually generalize to your use case. An example that comes to mind that developers should consider doing with this sort of evaluation given the blogosphere hype is NoSQL.

The article points out that the enthusiasm for OpenID, AtomPub, and XML for “the Web” has cooled. What looks like the next big think, I concluded, may not be.

What are the implications for search and content processing vendors?

For those who don’t know what the three technologies are or do, the answer is, “Not much.” Many vendors handle security, intakes, and formats via connectors. I wrote a for fee column about the importance of connectors, filters, and code widgets that make one outfit’s proprietary or tricky file formats easily tappable / importable by anothre vendor’s system. I know that you have been following the i2 Ltd. and Palantir legal hassle closely. If you haven’t, you can get some color in the stories in www.inteltrax.com and my for fee columns.

But, if you are a vendor who has a big investment in one or more of these technologies, the loss of “enthusiasm”—if the source article is accurate—could mean higher costs. Here’s why:

  1. The marketing positioning and collateral will have to be adapted. Probably not a big deal in the pre-crash days, but now this is a cost and it can be a time sink. Not good when pressure for sales goes up each day. One vendor told me, “We’re really heads down.” No kidding. I don’t think it is work; I think it is survival. A marketing distraction is not a positive.
  2. Credibility with some customers may be eroded. If you beat a drum for one or more of these three technologies, the client assumes that everyone likes the rhythm. Articles that suggest three “next big things” are really three day old brook trout may beg for air freshener.
  3. Partners who often just buy the software vendors’ pitches have invested. Now those investments may not have the type of value one associates with certifiation from Microsoft or the sheer staying power of a wild and crazy push by IBM or Oracle. If partners bail out, recovery can be difficult in some markets.

Worth reading the article and thinking about its implications for search and content processing vendors. Might not ruffle your features; could tear off a wing.

Stephen E Arnold, January 31, 2011



One Response to “XML Carnage”

  1. Tweets that mention XML Carnage : Beyond Search -- Topsy.com on January 31st, 2011 10:19 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rob Robinson, Ian Henderson. Ian Henderson said: RT @ComplexD: XML Carnage – http://tinyurl.com/4o2qrvu (Stephen Arnold) #eDiscovery […]

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